Saturday, June 30, 2012

Iron Age: Alpha and Omega

I never know how to review these oddball storylines. This series launched with an Alpha, ended with Omega, and had three issues in the middle. Rob Williams and Rebekah Isaacs handled the one-shots, while a variety of creative teams tackled the mini in the middle. I almost picked this up off the stands, but the mini was priced at $4.99. After reading the books, that seems to be because each issue basically has two full-length stories, but I didn’t know it at the time.

The concept is pretty easy: Tony Stark is kidnapped from a function and taken to the undersea base of Dr. Birch, a nobody villain who has obsessed over Tony for years. He’s got some knock-off Iron Man tech, but more importantly, he’s got a copy of Dr. Doom’s time platform. The first issue ends with Birch pulling a fighting-mad Dark Phoenix from the past and bothering her until she blows up the Earth. Stark manages to make it to the platform before the world ends, but now he’s on the run through time, teaming up with older versions of Marvel U mainstays to try and save the world.

Pretty decent high-concept, huh? Especially once you factor in that modern-Tony is now running around in the era that he spent wallowing in alcohol. It’s pretty easy for Stark to show up in public when the older version of him is passed out at home.

Stark has to travel through time, putting together a team of heroes and re-assembling the time-platform. There is some pre-destination involved, Birch knew that these folks would be around, but I’m fuzzy on exactly how that part worked. The team consists of Hank Pym, Captain Britain, Dazzler, Cyclops, Human Torch, Power Man, and Iron Fist. That’s a pretty great, eclectic line-up, I think; especially the way Williams picks and chooses which versions to put on display.

Isaacs does a nice job with the art. I loved the design of the undersea base. Her Iron Man is solid too, with an almost Keron Grant-vibe to some of the armor and robots. Dark Phoenix steals the show in the one-shots. Man, we do need Jean Grey back in the Marvel U.


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